Bike Trails and Walking Paths in Marshfield, WI
PHOTO CREDIT: Wes Aldridge
One of the most remarkable things about Marshfield also may be one of the most basic – walking trails.
The city is connected by a 10-mile web of asphalt-covered trails. Their creation is based on the simple notion that getting to work and school on foot (or bike) is better than getting there by car.
“The whole idea with the Parks and Recreation integrated trail system,” says Amber Miller, director of planning and economic development for the city, “is to support healthy lifestyles.”
It all started back in 1998, explains Ed Englehart, director of Marshfield Parks & Recreation Department, with the creation of a three-quarter mile long trail in Griese Park. Soon, others followed – the Greenway Trail, the Joe & Bernadine Weber’s Nature Park Trails, Veterans Parkway Trail, the Galvin Avenue trail – and it became possible to get around a small Wisconsin city entirely by foot, and (of course) get around safely. At first, some trails followed old railroad beds, but building the rest of the network “became quite a lengthy process,” he says. “Parts of the corridor passed by rear yards of residential property, so there was concern and we had a lot of work to do to assure [residents] that the trail system would be a benefit to them.”
He adds that over “the last few years, we had a group in the community of individuals that came together called ‘Friends of the Trails,’ and through their leadership and drive, we were able to complete the airport connector trail.”
Yes, in Marshfield you can even walk to the airport.
Trails are, indeed, now a big part of the lifestyle in Marshfield. The city received two grants in support of the so-called “Safe Routes to School.” Says Miller, Safe Routes “encourages walking and biking to school as much as possible. One of the issues, of course, is that we’re trying to get back to fewer cars around the schools. The more cars around the students, the greater the hazard.”
With Safe Routes, the city clears pathways and walkways, and removes any impediments that might prevent kids from going by foot or bike.
“We’re an eco-community,” Miller says, “and we want to adopt sustainable practices.”
Check out more on the outdoors in Marshfield, WI.